` YouthCam: Dr Murad's Skin Camera | Powder
> rosacea-prone, oily?), our skin type and how it’s likely to pan out as the years go by can be super helpful in forming a skincare routine that actually makes a difference to your skin."/>
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The on-counter service that made me rethink my skincare routine
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Knowing the current quality of our skin (dehydrated, rosacea-prone, oily?), our skin type and how it’s likely to pan out as the years go by can be super helpful in forming a skincare routine that actually makes a difference to your skin. So, after speaking to Dr Murad about how to get healthy skin – and liking what I heard - I headed to the Murad counter in Oxford Street’s House of Fraser (though they’re nationwide) for a quick lesson in Hannah’s-actual-face-for-real.

So what is YouthCam?

YouthCam is Dr Murad’s on-counter service, which involves a high-definition camera that analyses underneath the skin to visualise its current condition, as well as past skin damage. And just like that, I was plunged into skin reality and what really lurks beneath.

The Murad skincare expert who took me through the YouthCam experience – let’s call her Judy – started by asking me what my current concerns were. I have to be honest, there are a lot. But some of the options were brightness, fine lines, wrinkles, pore size and sensitivity; I went for brightness. Judy took two photos of my cheeks, which were run through clever DermaDiagnose software to analyse the picture. Essentially it’s supposed to simulate a personal consultation with Murad himself.

My YouthCam results

From how clogged my pores were (only 1 per cent – hallelujah) to how much pigmentation I’m suffering from (17 per cent – doesn’t sound great, but apparently a good result), Judy took me through the state of my skin as it really is, not just how I think it is. For me, the big shock was that my skin is 33 per cent fine lines – cry – although this was mainly around the eye area and, as Judy pointed out, could be down to dehydration.

So now I knew what my main concerns were – fine lines, mostly, and dehydration – and what I was doing okay at (protecting my skin from the sun – cheers SPF – and keeping my skin clean and clear), but where did I go from here?  Judy had one more eye-opening shock for me: she showed me what my skin could look like if I don’t adopt a routine to tackle these concerns. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.

My routine now

The whole point of analysing your skin is to curate a skincare routine that tackles and treats the concerns highlighted in the YouthCam skin analysis. Judy then recommended the following for me:

Cleanser: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, £35 – Thanks to the gently exfoliating Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acids, this cleanser will help me get my glow back and make fine lines look that little less pronounced.

Serum: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, £65 – Judy told me to put this on every night because it contains retinol which will help smooth out any fine lines, lessen any scarring and give my skin the renewing boost it needs.

SPF: Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum SPF50, £45 – Because I’m using retinol most nights which leaves the skin more sensitive to UVA and UVB, an SPF is even more essential for day. This one has an all-bases-covered SPF of 50 so I can rest easy that my skin is well protected from the sun. Add to that the Environment Protection Technology it contains, which shields skin from the skin-harming blue light omitted by our screens, and you’ve got the best cream ever.

Eye Cream: Murad Renewing Eye Cream, £68 – I’m a bit of an eye cream sceptic but this one has me fully converted. It contains something called ‘Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4’ which softens lines around the eyes and takes down puffiness. If I’m predicting a shocking hangover, I’ll store it in the fridge overnight for a super cooling effect.

Mask: Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel, £55 – I live in London so my skin is subjected to pollution every single day. This mask is packed with antioxidant Vitamin C, which not only protects skin from environmental aggressors, but also brightens and gives you that glow back. Judy told me to leave this on for up to ten minutes a couple of times a week.

Emergency: Murad Rapid Relief Spot Treatment, £17 – I am prone to spots from time to time, so I keep this little weapon on hand to ward them off when I feel they’re coming and take them down when they’re already there. The clinical studies show it takes down redness within 4 hours and I’d be inclined to agree – it’s quick.

I’ve been following this routine for a couple of weeks now and not only is my skin brighter, more even and a little less ‘lined’, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using them and I know exactly what each of formulas I put on my face is doing. And, let’s face it, knowledge is power and Judy is Queen.

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